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The Florida National Guard traces its heritage back to 1565, the year the Spanish founders of St. Augustine organized their first company of citizen-Soldiers. Florida’s militia has defended local communities for over 440 years. Consistent with Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Florida’s Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen continue to serve in units from the Panhandle to the Keys. Today, Florida Guardsmen are involved in hundreds of community service projects across the state each day. Many serve in disaster relief operations, helping residents recover from natural disasters. Others train or serve in critical national defense positions throughout the nation and overseas deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan supporting operations in the war on terrorism.
To provide military units and personnel ready to support United States national security objectives; to protect life and property; preserve peace, order and public safety; and, to contribute to such national, state, and local programs that add value to The United States of America and the State of Florida.
To be an organization that is recognized as the nation’s top National Guard with its focus on people, readiness, and dedication to service to the nation, state, and community. To be a military organization of skilled people, modern equipment, with quality systems, available and ready to accomplish peacetime and wartime missions as part of the total force. To be capable and competent to meet the challenges before us as we move into the 21st century.
The Florida Department of Military Affairs provides management oversight of the Florida National Guard, and provides units and personnel ready to support national security objectives; to protect the public safety of citizens; and to contribute to national, state and community programs that add value to the United States of America and to the State of Florida. The Department of Military Affairs, a state agency created by Chapter 250, Florida Statutes, oversees and provides administrative support to the Florida National Guard. Directly responsive to the Governor of Florida, the Department and the Florida National Guard together operate within the policy guidance and fiscal framework of both federal and state authorities.
In accordance with Chapters 250, 251 and 252, Florida Statutes, The Adjutant General is specifically tasked with (1) the combat readiness and emergency preparedness of the Florida National Guard, (2) responding to disasters and civil disturbances, (3) reducing the importation of controlled substances, and (4) assisting Floridians at risk. Both the Department of Military Affairs and the Florida National Guard Headquarters are located in St. Augustine. The Adjutant General is a federally-recognized general officer serving as both as department head of the Department of Military Affairs and commanding officer of the Florida National Guard. His staff represents a complex blend of full-time and part-time military personnel, federal technicians, state employees, Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen. The joint headquarters is responsible for more than one billion dollars in federal property, armories in 55 communities across the state, and more than 73,000 acres in training lands.
With more than $454 million in federal funds and about $18 million in state general revenue funding annually, the department manages a force of about 12,000 National Guard members, more than 2,300 full time military personnel, and 450 state employees. Together, the Department of Military Affairs and the Florida National Guard are committed to serving the vital interests of the nation, the state, local communities, and Florida’s citizens.
The Florida National Guard has been headquartered in St. Augustine since 1907 and has a membership of more than nearly 10,000 Army National Guard personnel and more than 1,900 Air National Guardsmen. Additionally, there are more than 450 employees of the Florida Department of Military Affairs.